Master of Social Work
School for Social Work
Gestalt therapy, Gender identity, Psychotherapist and patient, Therapeutic alliance, Anti-oppressive practice, Gender
This study seeks to explore How does Gestalt therapy training influence therapists in navigating clinical encounters involving gender identity? Gestalt therapists’ responses noted the importance of authenticity, contact, ability to question biases, self-examination, personal responsibility, and the therapist’s sense of their own gender identity privilege and oppression. Gestalt therapy is contrasted with anti-oppressive practice principles, in which there are congruent philosophies between Gestalt therapy and anti-oppressive practice principles. Participants’ and this author’s recommendations for future research include further research on the efficacy of Gestalt therapy training in working with varying identities, as well as gathering perspectives from people of marginalized identities to share their experiences of therapy from Gestalt-trained therapists. Study limitations included this researcher being a white, cisgender, class privileged, able-bodied male, and most participants were white and cisgender men and women therapists with privilege to attend Gestalt institutes. Clients’ perspectives were not available for this study.
Borkan, Benjamin Philip, "Gestalt therapists' perspectives on gender in the therapeutic relationship : implications for anti-oppressive practice" (2017). Masters Thesis, Smith College, Northampton, MA.